10/12/11

Tools of the Trade: Immersion Blender

For our first Christmas together, Jake gave Silka a Kitchen Aid Immersion Blender. Sure, that may seem like a strange gift. Not romantic or all that unique - more utilitarian, like getting socks from your grandmother. But Silka was impressed. As you know by now, she would be happy to subsist on soup and sauces alone. But until then her (now our) kitchen was missing the most valuable soup/sauce making tool: the immersion blender!

Needless to say, our (then her) kitchen now has two immersion blenders. The amazing, fantastic, life-changing immersion blender turns a chunky soup into a velvety puree in seconds - and you don't have make a mess transferring it into another container. It also allows for much better texture control when blending as compared to something like a Cuisinart. In the summer we use it a lot to make bright green basil pesto or a spicy salsa and in cooler months it's great for creamy tomato sauces, like Jake’s childhood favorite rosa sauce (recipe coming soon, don't worry). But perhaps most excitingly, it allows you to whip up thick, rich homemade mayo in the blink of an eye. See? We said "life-changing"! 

Homemade Mayonnaise

+ 1 cup of oil - we like to use half extra-virgin olive oil and half sunflower oil
+ 1 egg (room temperature)
+ 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or white wine vinegar
+ 1 tsp of dry mustard
+ 1 dash of cayenne
+ 1 dash of salt

1. In a container* pour 1/4 cup of the oil, the lemon juice, spices, and the egg. Blend it on the medium setting until it starts to emulsify (set and look like mayo). This should take just a few seconds.

2. Slowly drizzle the rest of the oil into the container as you continue mixing. It should turn into mayo. Occasionally it doesn't emulsify right- mayonnaise is just one of those mysterious things. If it doesn't work just try it again, it will only take a few seconds. Or take a look at Julia Child's recipe - we hear it's fail-proof. 

There are endless variations on your standard mayo:
Add any of the following in Step 1:
+ a few cloves of garlic makes aioli
+ 2 sprigs of mint - we like to serve it with lamb
+ a bunch of basil
+ a few strands of saffron

Add any of the following at the very end:
+ 1-2 tablespoons dijon mustard
+ 2 tablespoons buttermilk makes homemade ranch - check out a great use for homemade ranch here
+ 1 tablespoon sriracha

*Most immersion blenders come with a handy plastic container which is perfect for making the mayo in. If you have it, use it, otherwise find a tall fairly narrow container, a Pyrex measuring cup or a canning jar. You can also do it in a food processor, but we find that method trickier.

1 comment:

  1. one of my absolute favorite tools! especially after having a blender explode on me (twice) while making pea soup.

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